Aker Oilfield Services Case Study
Aker Oilfield Services is a leading global oil services company operating from Norway, providing subsea installation and well intervention operations with a fleet of state-of-the-art ships.
Aker Oilfield Services is part of the Aker Solutions group of companies; a leading worldwide operator with annual revenues of $3.5bn with engineering services, products and service solutions in the oil and energy sector.
Aker Oilfield Services (“Aker”) manage detailed records of oil drilling equipment on their ships. This is a vital business process for Aker, as the ramifications in the use of an incorrect or unapproved document could incur massive cost, compliance or environmental impacts. Due to the nature of the oil and energy business, strict appliance of governance procedures is mission-critical within the company.
Documentation is maintained and published using the Alfresco Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS), which is used by third party suppliers as well as Aker employees. This system was originally implemented by another Alfresco partner; during 2011, Ixxus took over all development and support. As a highly successful Alfresco Platinum Partner with a high number of enterprise clients, Ixxus was a natural choice for Aker.
Ixxus performed a detailed architectural review, which highlighted the root cause for a number of performance issues which Aker were experiencing. Most notably, users were experiencing a 30 second response time in some areas of functionality, which was causing productivity issues in the field and annoyance with users.
Performance issues and a number of reliability and best-practice areas were identified in the report, describing in detail how problems were occurring and the options and steps needed to rectify each issue. The report was presented to the business and technical stakeholders, and Aker approved all the Ixxus recommendations. As a second phase, Aker identified new functionality they wished to be developed.
Ixxus scoped three project deliveries, in line with the prioritisation of needs from Aker, and to deliver benefits quickly to the business.
In a separate development project, Ixxus were asked to step in and complete the development of a systems integration of the Alfresco ECMS with the Teomaki Ship Management System, a system which was to be installed across Aker’s entire fleet. Upon taking on the development from the incumbent, Ixxus reviewed the design and found that a number of use cases were not catered for. Ixxus proposed changes to the design, walking these changes through with Aker and Teomaki.
Ixxus were also asked to propose a support service for the application and personalised training in Alfresco for some of the Aker team.
The first Ixxus release went live in January 2012, with changes successfully implemented to resolve the critical performance and reliability problems. The improved system has vastly increased efficiency in Aker’s record-keeping processes. This was received well by the users, who had been frustrated for many months with the system performance.
The release to provide systems integration between Alfresco and Teomaki and new functionality will be live from April 2012. Meeting this date was time-essential for Aker as their ships are due to set sail to Africa and Brazil.
Ixxus carried out administration training by providing Aker with an Alfresco Developer course, a course which was tailored to the Alfresco product version/configuration in use by Aker. This ensured that Aker will have the knowledge required to support their users.
There are further plans for enhancement of the roadmap of the Alfresco system. Aker wish to upgrade to Alfresco 4 and are interested in deploying Ixxus’ Digital Media Annotator solution to their engineers and suppliers, which would greatly improve the productivity and interaction of engineers during the review of complex digital drawings and engineering specifications.
Øyvind Vallestad, Project Coordinator for Aker, said, “We have been very pleased with what has been delivered by Ixxus this far. Until Ixxus took over we couldn’t rely on our developers, and discovered a lot of errors in the day-to-day work in Alfresco. After Ixxus had first fixed our performance issues, we felt further work could be placed upon them, and they have also helped us with several releases with new functionality that has further enhanced our system. We hope to keep a good and long relationship with Ixxus, and are looking forward towards new and exciting upgrades in the future.”